Before moving forward, we clearly state that the Stairway to Heaven hike in Hawaii is one of the most beautiful and dangerous hikes. It has also been declared an illegal hike in the USA. Are you still interested? Stairway to Heaven Hike in Hawaii is also famous by its other name, i.e. “Haiku Stairs”. It is located on the islands of Oahu, Hawaii. It is a strenuous hike, and we are not recommending Haiku stairs to beginners. On the hike, you need to cover 4000 steep stairs that ascend the Ko’olau Mountain Range. Every year, thousands of people, locals and tourists do this hike. You can read the complete article to know each nitty and gritty detail about the Stairway to Heaven in Hawaii.

History of the Stairway to Heaven

It was built in 1942 by the US Navy. Stairway to Heaven in Hawaii was built for a specific purpose. When World War 2 was in 1942, the US Navy faced difficulties communicating with the ships in the Pacific Ocean. So, the navy decided to build a radio station and a giant antenna on the top of the mountain for better communication. What is evident is that it was built only for military purposes. Stairway to Heaven, or Haiku Stairs, was officially closed in 1980 by the US government. It was also damaged in several places when it was closed. There is a non-profit group known as “Friends of Haiku Stairs” that decided to renovate the Stairway to Heaven. If the stairs were handled right from the beginning, people would not face any issues climbing Haiku Stairs.

What is the legal way for Stairway to Heaven?

As we already mentioned, the Stairway to Heaven hike is illegal, but you can access it by the backdoor to reach the summit of the mountain. The backdoor way is known as the Moanalua Valley trail. This trail is legal and makes you reach the top of the Haiku trails. You will not find the Moanalua Valley trail risky. The path is longer & beautiful and comes without any difficulty.

Where are Haiku Stairs Located?

Haiku Stairs or Stairway to Heaven is located on Hawaii’s island of Oahu. The adventure journey for the stairs begins from Haiku Valley with the H3 highway and ends on the mountain near Kaneohe, known as PuÊ»ukeahiakahoe. When you visit the Haiku Valley, you will observe that it is surrounded by a residential area. You will also find security guards at some entrances. 

Things to Expect on Stairway to Heaven in Hawaii

You have to cover around 4000 steep stairs to reach the top. During the hike, you will be rewarded with the stunning panoramic vista of the surrounding landscape, which includes valleys, mountains and the Pacific Ocean. The hike is famous among the hikers for its challenging terrain. Be prepared for the strenuous workout if you have already made up your mind for the trek. The illegal status of Stairway to Heaven makes it more dangerous and adds an element of adventure as it involves trespassing and the possibility of encountering security measures. During the hike, you will experience a diverse and beautiful ecosystem. We are advising you to check the weather before embarking on the journey to Stairway to Heaven. Weather conditions change rapidly, so prepare for rain and slippery conditions in advance.

Places to Stay in Oahu

Anyone who is planning to do Stairway to Heaven Hawaii can stay at Waikiki, which is home to various resorts and hotels. It is a crowded area. You can expect heavy traffic on the way to reach Oahu from Waikiki. The Moanalua Valley trailhead, the legal way to reach the top of the Oahu hike, is just 15 to 20 minutes away from Waikiki. 

Future of the Stairway to Heaven

Haiku Stairs are considered a liability, so the city administration decided to dismantle the stairs. Around $1.3 million would need to be spent to remove the stairs. The dismantling work can start anytime in 2024. In the latest update, Honolulu mayor Blangiardi has declared that he will consider new options to save the Stairway to Heaven Hawaii and handed it to the federal government for renovation work. This decision came due to the agitation of the environmentalists.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs):

Q. Can you still hike the Stairway to Heaven, Hawaii?

A. Yes, you can still hike the Stairway to Heaven Hawaii. There is another path known as the Moanalua Valley trail, which will lead you to the top of the Oahu Hike.

Q. How long does it take to climb the Stairway to Heaven in Hawaii?

A. You will need around 3 hours to reach the top and 2 hours to return to Stairway to Heaven Hike.

Q. Why is Hawaii removing Stairway to Heaven?

A. Hawaii Authorities are removing Stairway to Heaven because the path is too dangerous and risky. In the rainy season, the stairs become too slippery, which can cause accidents.

Q. Can you still hike the Stairway to Heaven, Hawaii?A. Yes, you can still hike the Stairway to Heaven. Every year, thousands of visitors do this hike.